Throughout history and world geography there have been multiple myths about the fountain of eternal youth, but in Ourense this legend seems to be closer to reality.

References to this myth can be found in Ancient Greece, specifically in the third book of Herotodo’s Histories. There are also legends of this type in the Koran and even in the Bible, where the healing properties of the waters of the pool of Bethesda are narrated, where Jesus performs the miracle of healing a crippled man.

If we go forward in time, at the beginning of the 16th century the Spanish explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de León discovered Florida while he was in search of the fountain of eternal youth, which is even referred to in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, where they use the Spanish conquistador’s map to reach the elixir. But Ponce de León went too far, since without leaving the peninsula he could have found in Ourense the most realistic paradise of eternal youth, where the true waters of longevity flow.

Monument dedicated to the fountain of eternal youth (Florida)

Source: VisionTV

The thermal waters, which we find throughout the province, are undoubtedly a gift from nature, which have been used for rehabilitative purposes in the different spas of Galicia since the 19th century, to which older people went to ‘take the waters’.

Thermalism offers a better quality of life, thanks to its different therapeutic, mining-medicinal properties, as Chema Faílde, president of the Sociedade Galega de Xeriatría e Xerontoloxía, tells us. These properties are of great help for various dermatological, rheumatic and respiratory problems.

Beyond their virtues to improve physical health, they also serve to improve the quality of life on a psychological level, their use being clearly anti-stress and socially active, which is really beneficial for older people, beyond reaching an advanced age, to have a longer, healthier and higher quality youth.

In addition to the importance of thermalism for a better and longer-lasting quality of life, in Ourense, especially in the rural environment, we can appreciate various characteristics very conducive to lasting ‘youth’. Galician smallholding is one of the keys, allowing elderly people to have a garden near their home and work it, thus maintaining a certain physical activity, while consuming quality food, within an Atlantic diet, as Pablo Vivanco points out. , of their own harvest and while maintaining social interaction with their environment. The truth is that in rural Ourense the retirement age does not exist.

It should also be noted that the city of Ourense continues to maintain a lot of connection with the villages, so in a certain sense in the city itself the very important self-consumption continues to be maintained, and the rustic traditions, with popular festivals, such as ‘the slaughter’, another Another way to maintain that important social and family connection.

Self-consumption is one of the main keys to health and longevity

The fact of working a garden, or carrying out some type of field activity, in addition to maintaining rural traditions, also ‘forces’ older people to have a routine, and most importantly, to wake up with a purpose every day. , staying active physically and mentally. According to Chema Faílde, there is also a geographical advantage in the Galician interior over the coast, and that is that at altitudes between 500 and 2,100 meters there are the highest records of centenarians, as happens in the countryside of Ourense.

Source: Blue Universities

All these factors enhance the province of Ourense as a special environment for a long, and above all, quality life. So much so, that it could soon become the sixth blue zone in the world, after Loma Linda (United States), the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), Sardinia (Italy), Ikaria (Greece), and the best known, Okinawa. (Japan). This would be, without a doubt, a true milestone for the province and a well-deserved recognition of the habits of the Ouresan population.